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22nd September, 2019

La Coruna

On the Bridge at 0530 this morning, fresh coffee brew in hand and assessing the conditions. Night-time parking! At least the skies seemed to be clear and the rain had moved off to the east. A stiff breeze blew in from the south, that would make it interesting for Denis, my Bulgarian Staffy, I had elected him to park this morning. The manoeuvre is simples, the approach around the breakwater is what requires the concentration.

At the Pilot station on time at 0630, no Pilot. Well it is Spain. I pressed on toward the east when, finally the Pilot boat appeared from around the breakwater. Trying to embark the Pilot at the critical turn is a nuisance, anyway, Denis handled the challenge well.

Discussing with the Pilot, once he got to the Bridge, the berthing plan, he had a different berth for us. This required a rethink of Denis’s approach to the berth. A little further on, I question the Pilot, on a ‘marking’, a flashing light, on the quay. “ I think that may be your berth Capitan”, so another readjust. Finally after three proposals, we did find the right berth. Good job Denis, good bye Mr Pilot!

All fast at 0800, or just before, the ship was delayed in clearance. Oddly, the Border force want to do a face-check on all non-Europeans. We had 5 Guests onboard that were non-EU. It took around 45 minutes to get the clearance, on a Sunday, not sure what that was about. Hey ho, it was looking to be a settled day, the day, hooray, was bright a with clear skies.

The sun rose at 0818 and slowly lit up the attractive harbour area of La Coruna, or A Coruna if you are Galician. It was a pleasant day all around with many Guest going ashore, quite a different story to that of Vigo! Another day onboard for me, it was starting to look like a no-go ashore tour of duty!

With the Guest back onboard promptly, I took the ship off the berth. Swinging in the tight basin area, making sure I didn’t hit the Spanish submarine parked astern and once facing east I made my way out of the harbour.

The Pilot was eager to disembark, well it was a glorious Sunday afternoon, why wouldn’t you! I was keen for him to go too, I had a Church to attend. Once clear of the port traffic area, I handed the charge to Denis, Staffy, and I whistled down to Church. Well, I didn’t whistle, that is bad luck for seafarers, by whistle I mean I got there sharpish… I was nearly late!

Back from Church now doing a bit of Admin tidying up this evening and having an early-ish night. Day at sea tomorrow with Pilot embarkation, for Bordeaux, at 2130 tomorrow night and I’ll be up all night, so a bit of work-time management needed for the next few days. Night night…

Captain Stuart Horne

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.